Xbox 360 Has Failed in Japan

There was a time, in the dewy morn of Xbox 360's life, when conventional wisdom dictated that "conquering" Japan was absolutely essential for Microsoft to succeed globally. Indeed, Microsoft has spent the last five years a-wooing Japanese consumers like some lovestruck sap, all to little avail.

Now that retailers are pulling Xbox 360 from shelves, the feeling is that the game is up. But is this really such devastating news for Xbox 360? After all, the machine has failed in Japan, and yet is apparently untroubled on a global scale.

Here's the reality about Japan: Unless you're a Japanese company, it doesn't really matter. According to one well-placed games publisher, who chose to remain anonymous, "it constitutes 18 percent of the global market for console games, but is declining at a faster rate than any other major territory, it's not that games publishers don't want to be successful there, it's just not a huge opportunity." Analyst Michael Pachter described the country as "about as important to western publishers as Scandinavia."

Microsoft did some really smart things as it attempted to win the hearts and minds of Japanese consumers. It managed to win support from leading developers (usually through the expedient of hard cash). It spent a lot of marketing dough. It's difficult to see what the company could have done better. But still it failed.

Japan has become less and less important to games industry spreadsheet jockeys, as they plot their future revenues. The growing markets are in Eastern Europe and South America, both of which are way more receptive to Western cultural tropes than Japan and Asia. Put simply, they just don't expect Japan to deliver much into their coffers.

Japan throws an extremely powerful cultural voice, and this makes it more difficult for outsiders to break through. It's not that the country is insulated or, as some would claim "weird", but that Japan creates so much of what it likes, that it doesn't need to import culture. You can't say the same about many other countries.

Japanese consumers are also prideful about their own brands. You don't see many foreign cars on Japanese roads, and this is even more the case in the games market where Sony and Nintendo are the local boys. Japan will buy foreign goods, but not if the local fare is at least as good.

Not only, but the country seems to love portable games consoles more than home consoles. Wii, the best-selling console of the current generation, has not hit anything like the same numbers as PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3 has completely failed to come close to its predecessors achievements. The last few years have been about DS and PSP and mobile games.

Xbox 360 always had one hand tied behind its back, not helped by the view - expressed by various commentators over the years - that the console and the controller's form-factor are too vulgar and clunky for Japanese tastes.

http://au.xbox360.ign.com/articles/118/1189705p1.html
 

Decent60

Patient goes beep beep beeeeeeeeeep
Xbox controller is great for what it was designed for: First Person Shooter.
That's it. It wasn't designed for anything else. Which is fine, because I like my FPS on the 360 and I play all the other 90% of the market on my PS3.
 

Blaine

Dead Meme
Oppressor
Administrator
Xbox controller is great for what it was designed for: First Person Shooter.
wat

Playing first-person shooters with the 360 controller feels like waving around a twenty-foot pole with a 100-pound chunk of concrete on the end of it. It's not particularly different from any other console controller in that respect. Mouse and keyboard are vastly superior.

Anyway, who gives a fuck? The 360 is six years old and there's just taking now taking it off the Japanese market? I'm not surprised. Microsoft can't secure enough anime games featuring snotty teenagers with faggy hairdos, Pachinko games, hentai dating simulators, or dinosaur-slaying simulators.
 
when are westerners going to lose this ridiculous fuckin infatuation with Japan and wake up to the reality of what the country really is; a massive, inbred populous of brain dead, servile xenophobes who would happily purchase and consume an obscure lump of locally produced dog shit if it was marketed in competition with the best chocolate the west had to offer..........it's not about doing it right, it's about penetrating that reinforced concrete wall of self perceived superiority they have
 

Decent60

Patient goes beep beep beeeeeeeeeep
wat

Playing first-person shooters with the 360 controller feels like waving around a twenty-foot pole with a 100-pound chunk of concrete on the end of it. It's not particularly different from any other console controller in that respect. Mouse and keyboard are vastly superior.
If you're using it like a Wii Remote, then that's your first problem :p
Mouse and keyboard are great when there are multiple things to use (like in World of Warcraft) but for the general gaming market designed to make you pick and choose, it's no better.
 

Blaine

Dead Meme
Oppressor
Administrator
Mouse and keyboard are great when there are multiple things to use (like in World of Warcraft) but for the general gaming market designed to make you pick and choose, it's no better.
Mouse and keyboard are demonstrably better. I'm not trying to be a dick: There have been numerous studies done by software developers to determine the viability of cross-platform multiplayer for games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. ("Cross-platform multiplayer" meaning Xbox 360 players and PC players could play together on the same servers.)

What they do is pit skilled console players against skilled PC players in a given first-person shooter. The results are always conclusive: Average PC players can dominate excellent console players every single time. A mouse is just far more agile and precise than a thumbstick, even with aim assist; five mouse buttons, a scroll wheel and an entire keyboard are more versatile than a console controller.

That's why they still don't let PC and console players play first-person shooters together. A very small group (PC gamers) would have a huge advantage (mouse and keyboard) over a much larger group (console gamers, since consoles are taking over).
 

Decent60

Patient goes beep beep beeeeeeeeeep
There is that and a huge software compatibility problem. Packet information is sent and encoded differently, controls are different which makes it harder to have a unified coding structure. Also equipment isn't the same. I can have a rapidfire controller, which is very limited, or a gamer mouse and keyboard with virtually no limitations.
They main reason they don't let PC and console players play any games together is because it forces people to buy one or the other or both (depending on how they want to play).
 

D.O.A.

These are great days we're living, bros
does anyone really care about japanese seizure inducing games or FPS adventures? (first person schoolgirl adventures). I'm sure any unemployed MS japanese programmers will be absorbed into the child porn industry anyway. Look at nintendo, they should go back to making playing cards.
 

Decent60

Patient goes beep beep beeeeeeeeeep
does anyone really care about japanese seizure inducing games or FPS adventures? (first person schoolgirl adventures). I'm sure any unemployed MS japanese programmers will be absorbed into the child porn industry anyway. Look at nintendo, they should go back to making playing cards.
I did when I was like 11 or 12 but now those games are basically repeats, I think they fully beaten that horse into a smoothie really.
 
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